Monday, December 04, 2006


Me fail English?

I must have sat at my computer for half an hour yesterday morning, vaguely pondering how to phrase my objection to Eric Francis' piece on Which Teams 'Get' The Cap. I see now the Tom Benjamin has about the verbiage I was looking for (italics mine):
Poor to mediocre teams usually do have several players who are not earning their dollars, but this is nothing new. It has always been this way, and probably always will be this way. It is not the recipe for disaster - it is a characteristic of disaster.

I've been struggling with the language a bit recently. RiversQ referred to my post on K-Lo last week as "ham-fisted", which is both fair and accurate criticism.

I'm moved to acknowledge this because Elliotte Friedman has a fascinating graf on the CBC Sports blog (ÞKK), and by fascinating I mean What the Hell:
...we’ve got a problem.

The obstruction crackdown is going too far.

It’s a difficult problem, because I’m a zero-tolerance obstruction guy.

Why yes, resolving zero-tolerance and nonzero-tolerance is a difficult problem.


The Hull line about diving is priceless:

“I would crack down on it so much that people would think I was crazy.”

The one call that really bothers me is this: Player A has the puck on his stick, and Player B hooks his stick over Player A's and pulls it, so as to steal it, or to prevent him from taking a shot or making a pass. That should NOT be a penalty in my books, yet I've seen it a ton since the lockout. That to me is a legit play. If Player A doesn't have the stick strength to follow through, or hold on to the puck, too bad for him. Hooking calls should be concerned with sticks on the body, not on the stick.

I guess I'm pretty much with Benjamin, in that it's all part of the package: more total calls = more bad calls.

Perhaps (and I admit I haven't thought this through very well) the one plausible step is to maintain the standard re: what actions are fouls and what are not, but elevate the "standard of evidence". One of the problems now, I think, is [stick in Area A/B/C + guy falling over = penalty]. Sometimes no infraction has been committed, but the ref (presumably) feels like he has to call it, or get reprimanded for easing up.

The problem here (even if such a thing could ideally be instituted) is that the League has to admit, "OK, there's going to be more missed calls now, because sometimes the ref won't be sure that there was obstruction even if there was, and Wrong Calls are worse than Wrong No-Calls." I don't think this will happen, even though to me it's a fairer and more honest way of doing things.

Colin Campbell is willing to admit that sometimes refs don't see things, but a lot less willing to admit that You and The Ref can sometimes watch the same act and see two different things.

That's unpossible.

but a lot less willing to admit that You and The Ref can sometimes watch the same act and see two different things.

You aren't going to get much argument from Oilers fans on that one.

The ref's are really in a no win situation. Call not call it. The cap is making it more interesting for the teams they do tie up players not for longer terms and they may pan out Horcoff or they may not Pisani. Who knows where it will all go.The logic behind the Ducks is some what sound. But what happens when all those low price players want raises it can spiral out of control pretty quickly. Is Pronger actually be worth the bucks in season 5 of his deal?
Do you go with a longer term with lower bucks on a star player?

We're looking at the wrong end of the horse on this one.
Call everything.
But make ticky-tack stuff (penalties that impede a player's momentum, or what I think the old NHL called "obstruction") a one-minute penalty, or less if the other team scores.
Any foul where a player uses his stick, equipment, or the boards to inflict damage (eg. slash, elbow, boarding, charging, etc) whether or not injury occurs, make that a two-minute penalty with no hope of parole.
That will alleviate the pain fans feel when some invisible hooking penalty 200 feet from the net results in the same 2-minute PP as a vicious slash.
With both types of penalties, force the PK team to gain their own blueline before being able to ice it.
After the Sabres pump three goals into the back of your net after a slashing call, players will learn to avoid taking those penalties or they will be unemployed.
Right now, we've turned the game into basketball without the upside of increased scoring. All pain. No gain.

I like the idea of going back to the old school penalty rule, myself. Shorthanded for the whol two minutes, regardless.

I like the idea of going back to the old school penalty rule, myself. Shorthanded for the whole two minutes, regardless.

For what, touching the stick? At whatever discretionary moment a Toronto-leashed referee decides a team needs a boost?

The last thing I want to see, Grabia (and you too, Bettman) is more power plays. Nothing kills excitement like a bunch of no-touch set plays, scattered among a bunch of icings.

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